Many attendees of Woodstock had hoped to see Bob Dylan there, given that he lived nearby and that his compatriots the Band were playing. But instead Dylan perversely chose to skip that festival — a sick child was cited as the official reason — and accept an invitation to the one taking place on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England, on the last two days of August.

Dylan had performed live only once since his 1966 motorcycle accident, at a Woody Guthrie tribute concert, so there was a lot of buzz about the Isle of Wight Festival. But he almost didn’t make it after his son Jesse — apparently a trouble magnet — was injured at sea.

Today, The Beatles Bible tells us, George Harrison (accompanied by Mal Evans) traveled from London to Portsmouth to meet Dylan. They probably did not stop at the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty along the way.

Afterwards George and Mal returned to London, while Dylan took the ferry to the Isle of Wight to begin rehearsals. In the ensuing days rumors swirled that one or more Beatles would join Dylan onstage; this did not turn out to be the case, but it certainly didn’t hurt ticket sales.

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